Read: Jonah 3:1-4:11
But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?” Jonah 4:10 – 11
Jonah is throwing a prophetic temper tantrum here. He has no love for the Ninevites and wishes them dead. They had cruelly killed his countrymen and probably some of his family members. But God said go and preach that they might be saved.
After some aquatic forestalling, Jonah finally goes and they repent in humility and God doesn’t wipe them out. This really ticks Jonah off and he declares that this was why he didn’t want to go in the first place. To Jonah’s thinking the only good Ninevite was a dead Ninevite.
To God’s thinking, people matter. He loves people and made us to be in a relationship with Him, to be part of His family, to matter. His response to Jonah’s bad attitude was… Look at all those people Jonah… They matter to me!!!
Join me for a minute overlooking our community. There is a lot of mess down there. People who have hurt us, people who are destroying themselves and others, people who are wandering aimlessly.
I do believe God’s word to us is the same as it was to Jonah – Go to them! Tell them about me. Warn them that if they keep going down that road the consequences will be devastating. Give them a chance to find life, to find me.
When Christians don’t get active about helping people find and follow God, whether out of resentment like Jonah, or out of arrogance or selfishness, we are on the same shaky footing that Jonah is on. Because God is passionate about people who are far from Him, and you and I are His plan to save them.
For some of us we need an attitude adjustment like Jonah did. For others we need to get off our butts and start sharing and inviting people to hear more about Jesus. God says go… are you willing?
Jesus – help me to have your passion for people. To be willing to do whatever it takes to reach them, to share your hope, to show your love. Where I need an attitude adjustment or a swift kick in the pants, I pray that you would do that in me now. In your name… Amen